By Chesa Chesa
Nigeria’s envoy to Belgium and Luxembourg Ambassador Obinna Onowu, has charged global investors to see the current challenges in Nigeria and potential business opportunities in disguise, especially as the country remains a major investment hub and largest economy in Africa.
He spoke in Brussels on Friday when he hosted Nigerian, Belgian and Luxembourg business tycoons to an “Ambassador’s Meet and Greet” event which was organized by the Nigeria-Belgium-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (BLNCC) in collaboration with the Nigerian Embassy.
A statement issued by Mrs. Olamide Adeniran, a Counsellor at the Embassy, said that the event was well attended by the crème de la crème in the Belgian and Luxembourg business world, and afforded the Ambassador the opportunity to interact with business tycoons there and showcase the untapped resources in Nigeria.
Ambassador Onowu noted that for a country that had just crawled out of recession last year, Nigeria had in the first quarter of this year, recorded 0.5% growth in its GDP, and 5.01% in the second quarter.
He further observed that the 5.01% growth in the second quarter was a huge plus to the economy and revealed that 92% of this was recorded from the non-oil sector.
Acknowledging the challenges facing the country, Ambassador Onowu stated that these challenges were potential business opportunities in disguise for investors, and they should take up the opportunities.
“The present Nigerian Government has worked tirelessly to diversify the economy beyond oil and creating opportunities for investment in the non-oil sector especially in the areas of Agriculture, ICT, Health, Manufacturing, Construction e.t.c, which have all yielded positive results”, he stated.
He further recognized the presence of Belgian firms – SIAT Group of Companies and DEME Group – which were making potential huge profits in Nigeria and encouraged other Belgian companies to explore the untapped resources the country has to offer.
He affirmed the Embassy’s and by extension, Nigeria’s readiness to provide all adequate measures and incentives to ensure that intending investors are properly received and their trip is brought to its successful fruition in the country.
Ambassador Onowu commended the BLNCC and staff of Nigerian Embassy in Belgium for organizing what he described as a very important event.
Chairman of BLNCC, Mr. Chris Amssoms, in his remarks recognised the Nigerian economy as the most important economy on the African continent, adding that it was his honour to introduce Ambassador Onowu to the business community in Belgium.